You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in.


Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.


The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
 
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

Infectious disease outbreak could close hospitals – public health official

By Dermot - 25th May 2016 | 1 views

Hospital closures to control the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea last year “could easily be replicated here,” a prominent public health official has warned the HSE.

Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) Dr Darina O’Flanagan — who recently retired from her position — informed a senior HSE public health official that the outbreak in South Korea “resulted in closure of many large hospitals… That could easily be replicated here and we need access to urgent surveillance and guidance for control, including infection control. If our current WTEs are not maintained, there is an exceedingly high risk to the security of the health system.”

Dr O’Flanagan’s email was sent on 16 October 2015 to Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE Assistant National Director, Health Protection. The email was obtained by the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>) following a Freedom of Information request to the HPSC.

In an interview with <strong><em>MI</em></strong> in May 2015, Dr O’Flanagan noted that recent years had seen “severe cuts” within the HPSC and public health departments. “There will be more threats in the future — it’s inevitable,” she told <strong><em>MI</em></strong>.

In her email in October, Dr O’Flanagan referred to a discussion about the posts of clinical microbiologist and infection control nurse, which she described as “essential” to the HPSC and HSE, and key for developing guidance on emerging viral threats.

According to a HSE spokesperson, the posts referenced in the email were filled following an open competition by the HSE National Recruitment Service. However, one of the two consultant microbiologist positions (both half-time) in the HPSC is currently vacant.

In her email, Dr O’Flanagan noted how international experience with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and more recently with MERS-CoV in South Korea, demonstrated how “dangerous pathogens can spread in overcrowded emergency departments”.

In February, <strong><em>MI</em></strong> reported that Dr John Lambert, Head of the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, was proposing that a consultant position be established for emerging threats.

Last week, a spokesperson for Ireland East Hospital Group said “approval and appointment to post is nearing finalisation”.

Dr Lambert said this post would be crucial in preparing for emerging threats. The consultant will have a key role in planning for future disease threats and the design of an updated National Isolation Unit.

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]